After some controversy regarding his handling of safety concerns brought up by a pilot at Delta Air Lines, Stephen M. Dickson was sworn in today by U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao as the 18th Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Dickson has 40 years of experience in the aviation business and assumes the role of Administrator of the agency during a critical moment for aviation safety.
Recognizing Acting Administrator Elwell’s service, Secretary Chao stated, “I’m grateful for Acting Administrator Dan Elwell’s steady and principled leadership during an especially challenging time in the FAA’s history.” As FAA Administrator, Dickson will lead an agency responsible for the safety and efficiency of the largest aerospace system in the world — a system that operates more than 50,000 flights per day. He will oversee a $16.4 billion-dollar budget, more than 47,000 employees, and focus on ensuring the agency and its employees are the best prepared and trained professionals to meet the growing demands and requirements of the industry.
“I am honored to join the outstanding team at the Federal Aviation Administration and look forward to ensuring our aviation system maintains its proper place, leading the world in both safety and operational performance,” said Captain Dickson. “Nowhere else in the world sees the volume, complexity and pace of innovation that we have in America. Maintaining the highest levels of safety while adapting to technological advancements will be a key part of our success. I am honored to be able to help write the next chapter in the history of the FAA.”
Dickson recently retired from service as the senior vice president-Flight Operations for Delta Air Lines. In this role, he was responsible for the safety and operational performance of Delta’s global flight operations, as well as pilot training, crew resources, crew scheduling, and regulatory compliance. He also flew in line operations as an A320 captain, and previously flew the B727, B737, B757, and B767 during his career. The FAA believes Dickson will be a strong advocate for commercial aviation safety and improvements to the National Airspace System, having served as chairman of several industry stakeholder groups and Federal advisory committees. A former United States Air Force Officer and F-15 fighter pilot, Dickson is a Distinguished Graduate of the Class of 1979 at the United States Air Force Academy, as well as a graduate of the Georgia State University College of Law, magna cum laude.
Daniel K. Elwell, interim acting administrator, will serve as FAA deputy administrator upon Administrator Dickson assuming office.